Stress is defined as the body’s natural response to physical and mental demands or challenges. According to the American Psychological Association, about 70% of employees see their job as a major source of stress.
Stress is considered as a condition that affects the body and mental state in terms of health, reduces the quality of life and causes future diseases. However, stress in the workplace is a serious occupational health problem.
What is work-related stress?
Work-related stress is the body’s negative response to pressure in the work environment or other types of demands experienced at work.
Common causes of work-related stress include:
- short deadlines,
- large and difficult to manage projects,
- lack of control,
- lack of support,
- high expectations,
- unsupportive workplace culture.
Because our brain does not always separate work-related stress from daily life stress, the mental load in one’s daily life can also affect work. As a result, even non-stressful jobs can cause stress on the person.
Causes of work-related stress
To manage stress in the workplace, that is, to reduce the effects of stress and stress, it is necessary to understand the stressors in the workplace and their relationships with each other.
Here are some important sources of work-related stress.
Poorly designed work processes, workplace organization and management structures can put stress on workers. These factors include:
- High job expectations from employees,
- Employees do not have a say in the work and methods they do. No right to express opinions,
- Lack of work-related information and support to employees,
- Uncertainties in roles and responsibilities,
- Role or organizational changes without prior notice to employees,
- Bullying, harassment, or other forms of psychological or physical abuse.
Problems in people’s private life outside of work can affect work-related stress factors in a way that increases. This makes it even more difficult to deal with work-related stress.
Individual stressors include:
- troubled personal relationships,
- financial problems,
- health factors such as insomnia and chronic physical pain,
- personal characteristics.
The impact of work-related stress on employees and the workplace
Since there is almost no publication and information about workplace stress in our country, many employees do not know that stress can affect their health. Work-related stress can simply cause headaches, fatigue, and nausea.
High levels of stress can also lead to unhealthy behaviours and habits such as smoking, overeating, inactivity, and excessive alcohol consumption. And of course, stress can have psychological effects, potentially leading to inability to concentrate, depression, or suicide attempts.
In addition to these very serious effects, employers are also affected by the increased stress of their employees. Studies show that job stress causes millions of dollars lost annually for employers, including absenteeism, reduced productivity, employee turnover and direct medical expenses.
Symptoms of work-related stress
Stress is often difficult to detect when it is not very pronounced. But when an employee experiences high levels of stress, visible symptoms appear. Some of the things to consider are;
- Negative or depressive feelings
- increased emotional volatility
- loss of motivation
- mood swings
- concentration disorder
- poor memory
Deviations from normal behaviour
- changing eating habits,
- increased smoking, drinking, or drug use,
- sleep disorder,
What should employers do?
Employers must take proactive, result-oriented steps to manage and reduce stress levels in the workplace.
Steps employers or managers can take regarding stress include:
- ensuring that the workload is appropriate for the abilities and experience of the employees.
- clearly define the roles and responsibilities of employees.
- to create work programs compatible with expectations and responsibilities.
- creating incentives and opportunities for employees to use their skills.
- giving employees the opportunity to participate in decisions and actions that affect their work.
- improving communication to reduce uncertainty about career development and future employment prospects.
- increasing social interaction among employees.
Managing your work-related stress: Employee tips
Is work stressing you out? You can apply the following to cope with stress at work.
- Get to know yourself: Be aware of your stress levels and identify workplace features that make you feel stressed.
- Take short breaks: stay energized and productive by taking a one- or two-minute break periodically throughout the workday. Take a deep breath and release your tension.
- Find healthy ways to manage stress: Try reducing stress with healthy behaviours such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with friends and family.
- Take care of yourself: eat well, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water and get regular physical activity.
There is often no simple way to reduce work-related stress. The causes of stress are often sensitive and therefore can make it difficult to associate symptoms with stress.
However, this does not remove employers’ responsibility to protect the mental health of their employees. If you feel that there is negligence in resolving your workplace problems, arrange a meeting with the workers compensation lawyers in Sydney as soon as possible to learn whether you are eligible for a common law claim for a psychological injury.
Employers or managers need to identify stress factors in the workplace and make sure that the work they do does not cause undue stress.